[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An agricultural facility aimed at sustainable production of crops in arid environments was built and tested in Hatzeva, Israel. The facility relies on solar-powered desalination with nanofiltration membranes to treat the local brackish water (EC=2.32dSm(-1)) and produce high-quality irrigation water (EC=0.71dSm(-1)). Red beet, a salt-tolerant crop, was grown with the concentrate stream (EC=4.73dSm(-1)), eliminating the need for concentrate disposal and with potential net economic benefits. Agricultural experiments with variable irrigation water quality, application rate, and four staple crops (potato, maize, millet and sorghum) were conducted over two growing seasons between September 2010 and June 2011. The desalination plant operated at low pressure (4.3 bar) and energy consumption (1.37kWhm(-3)) and with little maintenance over the entire study period. The results of the agricultural experiments consistently showed that irrigation with desalinated water promoted more efficient use of resources such as water and inorganic fertilizers. A reduction of 25% in the irrigation rate and use of fertilizers compared with best-practice guidelines was achieved with desalinated water, with no detectable detrimental effect on the marketable yield. On the contrary, a statistically significant yield increase was observed for sorghum (+10%). An increase in water productivity with desalinated water was observed for all four staple crops.
Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 09/2013; 29(03):255-264. DOI:10.1017/S1742170513000082 · 1.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Resistance of pepper species (Capsicum annuum, C. baccatum, C. chinense, C. chacoense, and C. frutescens), cultivars and accessions to the root-knot nematodes Meloidogyne incognita race 2 and M. javanica, and their graft compatibility with commercial pepper varieties as rootstocks were evaluated in growth chamber and greenhouse experiments. Most of the plants tested were highly resistant to M. javanica but susceptible to M. incognita. Capsicum annuum AR-96023 and C. frutescens accessions as rootstocks showed moderate and relatively high resistance to M. incognita, respectively. In M. incognita-infested soil in a greenhouse, AR-96023 supported approximately 6-fold less nematode eggs per gram root and produced about 2-fold greater yield compared to a nongrafted commercial variety. The commercial variety grafted on AR-96023 produced a yield as great as the non-grafted variety in the root-knot nematode-free greenhouse. Some resistant varieties and accessions used as rootstocks produced lower yields (P < 0.01) than that of the non-grafted variety in the noninfested greenhouse. Use of rootstocks with nematode-resistance and graft compatibility may be effective for control of root-knot nematodes on susceptible pepper.
Journal of nematology 06/2004; 36(2):137-41. · 1.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Differences in the response of melon genotypes to the sudden wilt disease were observed in several field trials conducted during 1993–1994 in the Arava region of southern Israel. Generally, the disease was more severe in the late summer growing season which is shorter and has higher temperatures than the spring and autumn growing seasons. The Oriental pickling melon breeding line P6a was the most tolerant among the entries tested. The response to the disease was also studied using two segregating families and their progenitors. BSK (tolerant) P202 (susceptible) and P6a (tolerant) D17 (susceptible). Wilting percentages of F1, F2 and backcross families were intermediate between the parents, suggesting an additive mode of gene action.